Friday, March 16, 2012

Two Blobs, and Jeffrey Catherine Jones

I saw a terrific post of Jeffrey Catherine Jones illustrations (That's hers above) over at Golden Age Comic Stories blog.  Tons of black and white panels i'd not seen before. Totally worth checking out.

I keep coming back to Jones's work. It dovetails so many things I've been searching for on my own stuff for some reason. Minimal line work, yet painterly in that N.C. Wyth, Harvey Dunn, Frank Schoonover, way.  Yet, i always felt Jones' work had an intimate voice all her own.  Like Moebius... (though in a totally different way), her pen/brush strokes... suggested so much volume and form, yet always did so with such economy and brevity.

Meanwhile, back here on earth, the rest of us struggle on.

Here's a curious one: I took an old abstract painting on rough press watercolor paper and turned it over to the back, guess what i found?

A bleed through of the color from the front. But only in these two spots.

It got inspired (by a totally stupid waste of time). Why not try to make these two shapes into something else? So let's see... what could connect these two blobs?

How about a surreal branch of some plant? i know, an orange branch? I'll see where it goes though.. at a pot at the bottom.

Adding some pen likes, which i'll soften and blend with water in a sec.  Just following along blindly here. But there's little at stake, so i can always bail if it goes south on me.

Still a litte too timid. What i'm worried about is adding so much pen lines to these blobs, they'll lose whatever abstract charm that had to begin with.

Throw in some white highlights,

Again, looks horrible this close, doesn't it? Might look equally distressing when were finished too, that's always the risk.

I still think i should blend these pen lines a little more... but i'm afraid of losing the original blob color altogether.  Okay, time to abandon ship for now, leave well enough alone.

Sort of a mixed bag this time. But the point of this blog, like the art books, is no secrets. Sometimes i'll lead us down a blind alley, sometimes we get a surprise. Having the guts to try, and often fail, is the thing binds us all together.

I was amazed when Moebus once wrote how much he struggled inking blonde hair.  It wasn't that he had trouble with it,  many artists do... it was the fact someone of his stature, admitted to it. It blew my mind he's be so open, so honest about struggling with anything at his level. Where as, to me, he was, (and is), an artistic Genius irregardless.  From what i've read, Jeff Catherine Jones too was savagely honest her work, openly admitting the 'disasters' along with her successes. It only makes me admire them all the more.

So, i figure it's these two giants are brave enough to expose their own imagined 'weaknesses',  they kinda help the rest of us have compassion for my own artistic hick-ups and flubs, eh?

Have a stress-free weekend folks!

- Sam